Mike Stevens | Mar 12, 2009

Land Rover’s Christmases may have all come at once today, with the UK Government confirming that a grant offer of up to £27 million (AUD$57.6m) will be made available to the company to assist in the production of an all-new model.

The Tata-owned British carmaker is yet to make a final decision on whether to go ahead with the project, which would be based on the popular LRX Concept vehicle and would be the smallest, lightest, most efficient vehicle the company has ever produced.

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"We welcome the Government's support for this project, which would form a key part of our future product plans and which we very much want to put into production," said Phil Popham, Managing Director of Land Rover.

The UK Government isn’t simply throwing money around, of course, with the grant made possible courtesy of the Grant for Business Investment Scheme.

Neither is it simply a matter of Land Rover strolling up with a wheel barrow; as a number of approval processes need to be completed before the project can be approved for production.

land-rover-lrx-concept_04

The overall cost of the project is expected to be around £400m (AUD$854,370m), so while the government’s offer is likely a welcome one, there’s still some budget shuffling to be done.

Phil Popham said, "Our engineering feasibility study has shown that we can very successfully deliver Range Rover levels of quality, drivability and breadth of performance in a more compact, more sustainable, package.

Feedback from the most extensive customer research we have ever undertaken also fully supports our belief that a production version of the LRX Concept would further raise the desirability of our brand and absolutely meet all those expectations."

land-rover-lrx-concept_03

Positioning itself for an environmentally-conscious future is also part of Land Rover's plan with the project.

"The compact size, lighter weight and sustainability-focused technologies of the LRX Concept showed how Land Rover is planning to respond to the needs of a changing world," Mr Popham said.

"Despite the current economic challenges, we remain committed to investing for the future, to continue to deliver relevant vehicles for our customers, with the outstanding breadth of capability for which we are world-renowned."

Whatever it’s final name, the new model can be expected to offer the company’s traditional refined comfort and design features. It will also likely introduce new powertrain options with a goal of exceeding a 20 percent improvement on CO2 emissions.

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